by Ann Waterman
Trader Joe’s used to carry an amazing nut mix of pecans and cranberries with a hint of rosemary. It was perfect on its own or sprinkled on some mesclun greens with a little crumbled goat cheese and vinaigrette. I was hoping to include it as part of my hors d’oeuvres offerings at last year’s Thanksgiving dinner but learned (much to my disappointment) that it had been discontinued. Undaunted, I decided to try my hand at my own mix — and, if I do say so myself, it turned out just as well as, if not better than, the store-bought version.
It’s the perfect item to bring to a holiday party or give as a gift to family and friends: Just put the mix in a cellophane bag and tie it with a ribbon for a handsome presentation. In fact, I often purchase the pecans and cranberries in bulk so I can double or triple the recipe. Trust me: One batch won’t be enough.
Here’s how to make this holiday deliciousness (adapted from Tasty Kitchen):
- 2 cups pecans, halved
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil or other neutral oil ( you can use olive oil, but I prefer something that doesn’t compete with the other flavors)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl, toss the pecans, oil, brown sugar, salt, and rosemary (NOT the cranberries — those will be added later).
Spread the nut mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan.
Roast the nuts for 15 to 18 minutes (time will vary depending on your oven, so watch them closely to be sure they don’t burn). Let the nuts cool for a bit and then toss with cranberries, making sure everything is mixed well. Store in an airtight container and enjoy! I promise you’ll come back to this recipe every holiday season.
Images: Ann Waterman